Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku)
Women's nature connection facilitation
 

Meet Your Guide

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Carike Claassen
ANFT Certified Forest Therapy Guide

I believe that long, slow walks can change lives. As a certified forest therapy guide, I facilitate these types of walks. On a guided shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) walk with me, you’re invited to slow down, and instead of achieving anything in particular…just be.

I approach this practice from two perspectives. I do guide public walks every now and then, mostly to raise awareness around events such as Earth Hour, Arbour Day, and other environmental causes close to my heart. If you are interested in joining one of these public walks, please see my Facebook page for details on upcoming events, or visit the Join a Walk page on this website.

 

For the most part however, I work one-on-one or in small private groups with women who are longing to reconnect with their inner wildishness. These are women who, though perhaps a bit uncertain about where to begin, are dedicated to undertaking their own heroine’s journey.

I draw on a combination of forest therapy techniques, insights from my own lived experience, and tools I learned from my Playing Big facilitator’s training. In essence, my vision for doing this work with women is to experience and facilitate interconnections, clear hearing of wisdom from the inner, human and more-than-human worlds, and aliveness to what is presented in the moment. If this speaks to you, please have a look at my Services page to find out more, or feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

I am certified as a forest therapy guide by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs. I am also a certified Wilderness First Responder, and completed my Playing Big Facilitator training with Tara Mohr in the United States. I bring additional context to this work from a decade as an academic economist, with a special interest in understanding the unique position of women in the economy.

My love affair with long walks began as a child, when my father would often take me out on day hikes. Some of the long walks I have completed since then include the Amatola Trail, the Tankwa Camino, and figuring out that I really wanted to be a forest therapy guide when I grew up. 

I hope that you and I will take a walk together soon.

 

Why Forest Bathing?

Research into the beneficial effects of spending time in nature is growing. Forest bathing as a practice can support you in connecting to nature and slowing down. Some effects of spending time in nature include: 

Stress

Park et al (2007) show that shinrin-yoku lowers  the level of the stress hormone cortisol and aids relaxation. 

Mood

Yu et al (2017) find that a short forest bathing walk elevated positive emotions and decreased emotions such as anxiety, anger and confusion among middle-aged and elderly participants.

Learn more

Research into the beneficial effects of nature is growing. If you want to find out more, the ANFT is a good place to start.

General immunity

Li (2008) found that participants in a 3-day shinrin-yoku trip displayed higher levels of NK cells (disease fighting cells in the body) which lasted more than 30 days after the trip.

Creativity

Atchley & Strayer (2012) found that a 4-day nature immersion among a group of hikers improved performance at a creative, problem-solving task by as much as 50%,

A holistic practice

Forest bathing is best seen as a wellness practice, not a once-off event.

Taking part in forest bathing should not be seen as a substitute for professional medical care - please consult your physician.

Testimonials

"It's absolutely worthwhile. You connect with God, nature and wonderful people. You appreciate life and nature and want others to enjoy it. It makes you realize you want to protect this wonderful nature."

Services

Nothing to book right now. Check back soon
 

Want to take a walk with me?

Contact Info

Email
Address

info[at]aardwolfnature[dot]com

Potchefstroom, North-West Province, South Africa

 

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